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Friday, 14 February 2014

We have some new ladies

Went to the market on Wednesday and bought three ex-battery hens, named Milly, Molly and Mandy. They are a bit lacking in the feather area, were very pale and Mandy has a bit of frostbite on her comb, which is a bit floppy. They are all pretty weak on their legs, especially Mandy. But my they can eat! But to be fair I have seen a lot worse than these. They don't have many bald patches, and what they have are growing new feathers so hopefully it won't be long before they look more respectable.

We put them in the chick shed once the youngsters had gone out into the new run, but it all proved so bewildering. There was all this Bright Light in the sky, which was all Blue. There was funny Green Stuff on the floor. There were Overdressed Ladies out there and a Man! So we must Hide in the box, that is the only Normal thing here.

They are now going out a bit and scratching around, they have the new bit, the youngsters are roaming the garden and wherever else they end up. Sevi and the oldest young cockerel are making up to them, but the black boy cockerel managed to get in with them and was really nasty.

 Mandy showing her frostbite
Hey guys, look at these...what are they do you think?

 The trio waiting to go to their new home should have gone yesterday, but the people having them had a blow out on the way here and had to wait for help so they are going to have to come another day. They are from the north of the country so quite a long way off. Black boy has also found a new home and will hopefully be going tomorrow, not a moment too soon. I hope his new ladies are strong enough to cope with him, I am hoping his aggression towards the three Ms and others in the flock is frustration at being the underdog. He is not aggressive towards people or dogs which is a blessing as the new owner is older. He is only five months old so hopefully the older ladies will put him in his place. Once he has gone we do not want him back! I am looking forward to having peace in my layers' pen. Well, I say layers, there is still only one laying and Chubba, whose egg is no good.

While we were parked up at the market there was this tree. I will find out what it is one day, but I have never seen such thorns, they are inches long! Wouldn't like to get caught up in that.

Yesterday was Valentines day, which we are past now in our old age, but we do have a nice meal and sweet treat. A forage in the cupboard came up with not very much, but I did have cocoa and made some pretty gorgeous chocolate brownie cookies, including a couple of heart shaped ones. I will definitely make it them again but with slightly less salt than the recipe states. Yum.

For a main meal I got out a piece of Venka's beef from the freezer and did some nearly dauphinoise potatoes (with cream from the top of the milk which we get from a neighbour) and a pile of purple sprouting broccoli from the garden, which is doing quite well despite losing most of it's leaves in the cold. I had walnut sausages.

Things are happening in the garden. There are now snowdrops everywhere and you can see the garlic and onions from a distance. The roses are sprouting and I have been out having a tidy and prune. Unfortunately the soil is still a bit claggy to do much with, but things are stirring in the greenhouse. The buds on the trees are very noticeable now, I just hope things don't come out too early as I think we have some cold weather to come.

We are also seeing more insects. There are masses of bees, as mentioned before, but we don't know where they are living. Yesterday I managed to get some photos of the most miniscule moth you could ever see. I am not sure how I spotted it on the table, it was just the way the tiny speck of debris was moving which made me think it was alive. It was the size of a couple of pin heads, but I couldn't see much with the naked eye and details only showed up on enlarging the picture. It is probably some really destructive pest! Another creature was a silver and black beetle, amazing thing, and I probably wouldn't have seen that either if the sun hadn't caught the silver.

We have had more warm weather, so much so that the dogs got a bit warm and Bonnie had to go inside.

And finally, we have been wondering what the grey blob which appears in several trees is, and it seems it's a sparrow hawk.  Good job we have plenty of sparrows!


  1. I think everyone is ready for spring! We have been watching the news and the storms in Britain are looking so scary. My little neck of the woods has mostly escaped all the terrible weather in the US. We are now getting all the rain we should have gotten slowly throughout the winter. I will be spending my day today sewing and watching the Olympics. Enjoy your sun and new hens. I hope the girls start feeling at home very soon.

    1. Hi Tana
      Although I realise we could still have some awful weather this year, we can't help enjoying the amazing warmth of the sunshine at the moment. Dave has wasted no time in throwing off (most of) his clothes and is already looking tanned. We enjoy it while it lasts....about another five days before it cools to 10 degrees.

  2. I found your blog a few days ago and have read it from the beginning. I will be putting you in my Bloglovin reader. What an amazing artist Dave is, I'm sure he could be kept very busy painting and selling. It sounds like you have some wonderful neighbours. I hope you are enjoying your new life as much as you seem to be! I don't know about all that cold river swimming though!!

    1. Hi Janice, welcome to our world.
      Glad you are enjoying the ramblings, and thank you very much for the lovely comments. I am struggling to keep Dave out of the river at the moment, but I think that swimming in snow melt is a step too far! I can;t believe this is the same man who would make a fuss about the sea water in Greece being cold in May!
      And yes, we love it here, nothing is perfect but the life suits us and long may it continue.